Self-Love is NOT Selfish: Dispelling the Myths that Block You From Loving Yourself
Is it selfish to love yourself?
This is a question you may have wrestled with in your mind.
At times, you may feel that it is.
You may take a day off to replenish your energy, only to feel shame and guilt settle in.
Or you may have said no to doing a favor because you’re over-extended, but you tell yourself that you should’ve done it anyway.
When you start associating self-love and caring for yourself with selfishness, it affects how you move through life:
- You feel unworthy of care
- You don’t take care of yourself first
- You put other people’s needs above your own
Because you don’t want to feel shameful or for others to perceive you as selfish, you stop taking actions to love yourself. This leads to feelings of frustration, resentment and exhaustion.
I’m here to tell you that it’s a myth that self-love is selfish.
And when you learn how to build a positive and loving relationship with yourself, you cultivate an enhanced sense of self that not only benefits you, but the loved ones around you.When you learn how to build a positive and loving relationship with yourself, you cultivate an enhanced sense of self that not only benefits you, but the loved ones around you. Click To Tweet
Why Do We Think that Self-Love is Selfish (And How Can We Shift These Beliefs?)
Before you can embrace self-love, let’s debunk three misconceptions you might be holding:
Myth #1: Self-care is lazy and self-indulgent
Self-love and self-care are strongly linked.
When you love yourself, you show it through self-care.
But when you’re so used to working every moment, rest and relaxation can sound indulgent. It may feel like you’re slacking off.
But, here’s the thing about self-care.
Its sole purpose isn’t about feeling good or indulging yourself.
Self-care is about nurturing your well-being – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. It’s about loving yourself so you can manifest the life you desire and share your gifts without burning out.
Also, self-care isn’t only taking time off to relax. Self-care is also about daily acts of love for yourself.
Each time you make a commitment to get enough sleep, take steps outside your comfort zone and make sacrifices to achieve your goals, you show yourself that you love YOU.
Myth #2: Love is a finite resource
You may mistakenly believe that love is limited…
That the love you give to yourself detracts from what can be given to anyone else. And, following that logic, there isn’t enough love to go around. So, you might believe that your love should be given to others before yourself.
But love doesn’t work the same as time — they may be related but with key differences.
See, time is a finite resource. When you spend time here, that moment is gone. You can’t rediscover it and spend it elsewhere.
Love, however, is abundant. When you direct love toward yourself, you also enhance your capacity to share it with the people around you.
Self-love makes it possible for you to better love and support others. Because when you love yourself through acts of kindness and care, you experience:
- Increased energy
- Greater vitality
- More motivation
- Clearer thinking
- More emotional mastery
Self-love is what enables you to love yourself and others more deeply.
Myth #3: Self-love is negotiable
You believe that you can survive without loving yourself.
You’ve done it for so long, so why start now?
Yet, this belief only traps you in a dangerous cycle.
Because when you don’t love yourself, you don’t care for yourself. And when you don’t care for yourself, you burn out.
You swing back and forth between overworking yourself and recovering out of sheer necessity.
Before you know it, it’s too late.
If you want a life filled with abundance, ease and joy, then self-love is the pathway. By loving and caring for yourself fully, you open yourself to greater passion and inspiration.
You no longer second-guess your worth. You simply love and care for yourself and this reflects in the daily acts of self-love, like:
- Making time for your priorities
- Balancing work and play
- Being totally immersed in the present
- Giving your body what it needs
- Being grateful for your blessings
Learning How to Embrace That YOU Are the Most Important Person in Your Life
And I know your brain might be telling you how selfish this sounds, but hear me out.
Everything that you do, every thought you think, and every emotion you feel starts with YOU.
Without a foundation of self-love and self-care, you wouldn’t have the resources for personal growth or even to help others. Instead…
- You’re strapped for time because you clutter your schedule with non-priorities
- You’re exhausted and overwhelmed
- You’re emotionally drained because you’re not respecting your mind and body
Remember: before you fill the cup of another, you must fill the well of love and compassion within yourself. By empowering yourself first, you gain the capacity to contribute to others.
Therefore, self-love is the key to not only helping yourself but also helping others. How, then, can self-love be anything but a selfless act?
So, how do you embrace that you are the most important person in your life?
By showing up for yourself… Every. Single. Day.
It sounds hard. It’s a huge commitment.
But chances are, you already show up for work and for other people at least five days a week. Surely, you can devote at least two hours for yourself daily.
So dedicate time to creating a daily self-care practice. Because the quality of your self-love depends on what actions you take. “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth,” said Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
You might commit to self-care in the morning when you wake up:
- Enjoy the morning silence
- Put your attention on 5-10 things you’re grateful for
- Journal for ten minutes
- Do outdoor yoga for thirty minutes
- Eat a nutritious breakfast
Or maybe you focus on self-care in the evening after work or before you go to sleep:
- Give yourself a massage with essential oils
- Listen to soothing music as you rest your head and close your eyes
- Do some light exercises to shrug off the day’s stress
- Take a long warm bath to soothe your aching muscles
Self-care can even occur in the small decisions you make throughout the day:
- Setting boundaries to protect your time
- Choosing a healthy lunch
- Drinking plenty of water
- Stretching during your work breaks
- Honoring your emotions by speaking your mind
Showing up for yourself via your daily routine is one of the greatest acts of love for yourself. And with time, you will see your daily efforts bear fruit.
Do You Need Guidance in Your Journey to Self-Love?
One of the scariest things about self-love is taking responsibility for loving and caring for yourself.
You might feel like shouldering other people’s problems is your cross to bear. You might even identify as someone who selflessly puts others’ needs before your own.
But when you start loving yourself and taking responsibility for your priorities, health and well-being… everything shifts.
Now, you are responsible for taking the daily actions that manifest ease and growth in your life.
Where do you even begin? How do you start?
Fortunately, your journey to self-love doesn’t have to be a solitary one. If you’re willing to receive support, I’m here to offer it.
Special note: Join my brand new 6-week online group coaching program for women and go From Struggle To Ease.
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- Enjoy increased peace of mind by quickly dissolving conflict, upset, and intense experiences.
- Access more energy and enthusiasm for your business than ever before.
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- Say YES to yourself and what matters most, rather than the stuff that over-extends you.
- Have greater ease and flow in your relationships, work, finances, health, and more.
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